Upending humanitarianism: questions emerging ‘from the ground up’

Since the World Humanitarian Summit in May 2016, the idea of responses that are ‘as local as possible, as international as necessary’ has emerged as both a central and a contentious point of departure for reforming the existing humanitarian architecture. Critiques of the system have led to calls to allow space for a more devolved humanitarianism that recognises that first responders are almost always local. Such a response is more contextually appropriate and attuned to existing needs; enhances flexibility and efficiency; and involves local aid actors and communities more meaningfully in humanitarian decision-making.



Gatekeepers, elders and accountability in Somalia

In Somalia, the relationship between formal and informal spheres of governance are being renegotiated. In many areas, the formal state has been absent for a long time, or government agents only recently appointed by the Federal Government of Somalia. Meanwhile, there are powerful non-state actors who play roles in customary and informal governance systems, that in turn work to compete with, accommodate and influence formal state institutions.



Shared space of religion and human rights

This meeting report distils the discussions held during a high-level expert meeting organised by FRA, which explored the shared space between religion and human rights. Religious scholars, clerics, representatives of religious communities and human rights experts sought to identify the untapped potential for joint action and cooperation between those motivated by religion and those motivated by human rights to create fair and just societies. The meeting report concludes with action points that emerged from the meeting, including FRA’s possible role in the shared space of religion and human rights.



Immigration under Trump: A Review of Policy Shifts in the Year Since the Election

This policy brief assesses the major policy shifts that have occurred since January 2017 via executive orders, agency memoranda, and changes to existing programs and practice. It finds that the White House has made a significant down payment on the candidate’s immigration agenda, one of the most activist of any chief executive in modern times. Still, the courts, state and local jurisdictions that have limited their cooperation with federal immigration enforcement, and Congress have slowed or stalled some of the administration’s ambitions.



The “Essential Right” to Family Unity of Refugees and Others in Need of International Protection in the Context of Family Reunification

Many people fleeing persecution and conflict become separated from their families. They may have had to leave family members behind or to leave without being able to ensure or know if they are safe. They may become separated or lose track of each other during flight. Finding and reuniting with family members can be one of the most pressing concerns of asylum-seekers, refugees, and others in need of international protection. Family reunification in the country of asylum is often the only way to ensure respect for their right to family life and family unity.



The Right to Family Life and Family Unity of Refugees and Others in Need of International Protection and the Family Definition Applied

The separation of families when people flee persecution and conflict can have devastating consequences on family members’ wellbeing and their ability to rebuild their lives. At the moment of flight, they may be forced to leave without being able to ensure or know if their families are safe. Once in safety, refugees and other beneficiaries of international protection are often unaware of the whereabouts of their family. Others have to make difficult decisions about leaving their family behind to find safety in another country. The right to family life and family unity, as set out in international and regional law and outlined in this research paper, applies to all, including refugees. It applies throughout displacement, including at the stage of admission, in reception, in detention, during the refugee status determination process, where expulsion may be threatened, and in the context of durable solutions.



Afghanistan – security situation

The European Asylum Support Office (EASO) has published a Country of Origin Information (COI) Report entitled ‘Afghanistan – security situation’. The report is a third update of the version first published in February 2015 and provides a comprehensive overview of the security situation in Afghanistan, information relevant for the protection status determination of Afghan asylum seekers.



Setting Standards for an Integrated Approach to Reintegration

https://www.iom.int/sites/default/files/our_work/DMM/AVRR/IOM_SAMUEL_HALL_MEASURE_REPORT%202017.pdfIOM, the UN Migration Agency, published today the report Setting Standards for an Integrated Approach to Reintegration. The report, prepared and conducted by the Samuel Hall think tank, outlines recommendations to support sustainable reintegration of migrants who return to their home countries in the framework of Assisted Voluntary Return and Reintegration (AVRR) programmes.



Migrant Vulnerability to Human Trafficking and Exploitation: Evidence from the Central and Eastern Mediterranean Migration Routes

There are specific risk factors associated with increased migrant vulnerability to exploitation, violence, abuse and human trafficking, according to a new report published yesterday (21/12) by IOM, the UN Migration Agency. The report, titled Migrant Vulnerability to Human Trafficking and Exploitation: Evidence from the Central and Eastern Mediterranean Migration Routes, analyses quantitative data on vulnerability factors, as well as personal experiences of abuse, violence, exploitation, and human trafficking collected over the past two years from 16,500 migrants in seven countries. While other IOM reports have documented the scale of exploitation on the main migration routes to Europe, this report is the first to identify key factors associated with increased vulnerability to exploitation and human trafficking during the journey. The data comes from IOM’s Displacement Tracking Matrix (DTM).



Less Equal: LGBTI Human Rights Defenders in Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, and Kyrgyzstan

Index number: EUR 04/7574/2017. This report finds that discrimination, homophobia and Russia’s crusade against non-traditional sexual relationships have helped fuel a worrying rise in hostility towards LGBTI human rights groups in parts of the former Soviet Union. Social and political homophobia and transphobia in Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan contribute to the marginalisation of LGBTI HRDs and activists. The state authorities are unwilling to protect LGBTI HRDs and activists – police fail to prevent and investigate homophobic and transphobic hate crimes against LGBTI HRDs, activists and community members. LGBTI HRDs are often left demoralised by the failure of other civil society actors to show solidarity and support, and include the human rights of LGBTI people in their own advocacy and programme work. These challenges weaken the reach and impact of advocacy for LGBTI rights, and threatens the sustainability of work towards realising the rights of LGBTI people. The report concludes with concrete recommendations for national and international actors.